Edmonton Opera CEO Sandra Gajic resigns
by Mark Morris (via Edmonton Journal) – Edmonton Opera announced Friday evening that its CEO, Sandra Gajic, “had decided to move on from the Edmonton Opera,” and resigned after two years in the post.
Gajic joined Edmonton Opera in April 2011. She had previously spent 17 years working with the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto, where she played a key role in the development of the opera house in the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.
She has been widely credited for taking Edmonton Opera to new artistic heights, bringing in both international stars and new Canadian singers.
Last year, the company opened a new production facility to make sets and costumes. Under her leadership, corporate and individual donations to the company have greatly increased, and subscriptions have risen 50 per cent.
Her resignation comes as the company is about to enter its 50th anniversary season.
“I resigned to pursue other opportunities,” Gajic said Saturday.
“The company has raised its standards, and it now needs to go to the next stage. I didn’t feel I was the right person to continue leading the organization in its future strategic direction. I have loved working here in Edmonton, and I have dedicated myself to the company. I want it to continue to be a major part of Alberta’s arts scene.”
Gajic praised the “great support we have had from the community,” and plans to stay in Alberta. “I have a passion for the arts and I would like to continue to be part of the arts community here,” she said.
Speaking for the board of Edmonton Opera, Craig Corbett said Gajic’s decision was a personal one. “She has had a positive impact on opera in Edmonton,” he said. “We wish her all the best.”
The 2013-2014 season will remain unchanged, with three mainstage operas and an anniversary concert. There will be two anniversary-specific initiatives: a new work competition, and project for schools to create their own opera.
Edmonton Opera also announced that Tim Yakimec, director of production, will be the interim business manager for the Edmonton Opera for the immediate future.